An Open letter to Ismael Ozanne, Dane County District Attorney:
Thank you for meeting with me, unscheduled, Monday morning (12-03-18) in your office. That was most gracious. As we discussed, my purpose was to determine the status of a criminal complaint lodged by myself and three other witnesses against the ringleader of the mob action that shut down the budget meeting of the Madison Board of Education on October 29, 2018.
You informed me that the police department had not actually referred the matter to your office. You said this after conferring with assistant district attorney Matthew Moeser. Yet, you seemed to be familiar with our complaint. I asked how this was possible. You said police had shared information with your office but had not formally referred the matter.
Immediately upon leaving your office, I spoke with assistant police chief Randy Gaber in his office. He insists that our complaint was, indeed, formally referred to your office — that Lt. David McCaw did so directly to Mr. Moeser on November 8.
I have asked you and asst. chief Gaber to close the loop on this situation. To recap my written letter to you of 12-03-18:
The four complainants attended the October 29, 2018 meeting of the Madison Board of Education. Two of us registered to speak in favor of retaining educational resource officers in our troubled high schools. We never got the chance.
An employee of Freedom Inc., 1810 S. Park St., Madison, took the microphone and refused to yield her time after her three minutes expired. Instead, she led chants while 30 or more protestors stormed the stage carrying an oversized banner demanding Cops Out of School. Drowned out by the cacophony, the school board moved to adjourn.
The next day, Channel 3000 News reported school board president Mary Burke to say: “Last night, it felt like people came to purposely disrupt the meeting.”
The October 29 harassment and intimidation was only the latest in a series dating back, in my personal experience, to June of this year.
At a raucous July 18 school board committee meeting, protestors threw a West high school parent’s smart phone to the floor, severely damaging it. They hounded several others, including myself. That confrontation was Page 1 news the next day. This is the video. The victim moved out of the school district shortly thereafter.
On Vicki McKenna’s WIBA 1310-AM radio program, Police Chief Mike Koval characterized that the disruption as:
“A choreographed and orchestrated show of force … daunting …meant to intimidate. It is meant to marginalize and for those who otherwise want to express some civic opinion that is counter to [the terrorists] own, you are literally leaving the hallway in fear.”
At the June 18 meeting of the school board’s ad hoc committee on EROs, protestors shouted “Get Him Out!” during the course of my remarks, preventing me from finishing. A Milwaukee blogger recorded the confrontation.
Many of the same players shut down the Dane County Board in November 2017 as it considered building a smaller and more humane jail.
A growing list of citizens have vowed never to attend another Madison school district meeting. That includes my own wife, a 70-year-old woman with osteoporosis, who was physically “swarmed” by agitators at a school meeting September 24. We are all willing to testify.
Something is very wrong when citizens are afraid to attend a meetings of their local government.
Part #2: The district attorney’s arguments for not wanting to prosecute.